Friday, July 18, 2008

The New Gig

i’m two weeks into the new jobby now. i’m still with the same company, just moved over into a totally different department to do totally different work. the move was less than smooth but a long time in the making. i knew about it for six months and tried to make the transition sooner, but my old department — which was swamped with work, much of which they wanted me to complete — lined the road with hoops of fire.

i got the tap on the shoulder last christmas; new department called and said, “hey, we’re creating a new position here. maybe you can fill it.” it’s weird because i wasn’t unhappy in my old role or even looking for something new, but i knew i would take it immediately, despite feigning cucumber coolness at that first phone call, which i ended with, “i’ll think about it.”

it seemed like divine intervention, like the faeries floated out of the trees and said, “hey you, girl — the girl with the confused look on her face and pimple on her nose. yes, YOU. in addition to the house you’re about to get and old boyfriend you just reconciled with, you’ll be starting a new job in the summer. get ready.”

it should have seemed like too much to take on at once, but the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. things had become too steady, too built. i could feel the restlessness thrashing around inside me, screaming “i’m bored! i’m bored!” and here came the opportunity to tear it all down and rebuild.

i had been doing my old job for three years. in case you missed it, my old job was working as a copy editor for my company’s website, a website that helps facilitate the selling of mutual funds. it’s ok to be jealous. i know it’s the sexiest work around. i know this because when i’m at a dinner party with new people who ask me what i do for a living and i say, “i’m a finance editor,” their eyes glaze over with jealousy. then they turn their backs on me, probably after concluding that i’m the coolest person in the room and they’re too intimidated to talk to me. then they walk away.

i can’t wait to see their reaction when i tell them that i work for my company’s compliance department. they will surely turn green with envy. and what of this new department? well so far, i love it. the team i’m working on is much smaller than the web team i used to be part of, and that’s a better environment for me. i’m pretty much working with just three other women, all of whom i get along with splendidly. so splendid that our periods have already synchronized.

the job is slower paced, i’m in fewer meetings, and i have greater autonomy in my work, some of which involves maintaining my company’s internal compliance website, which means all the tech classes i’ve taken in the past will finally pay off. the only thing i miss about my old job are the very nice people i’ve become buddies with over the last three years but there’s plenty of opportunities to gossip with them over lunch.

new job also means i’m taking the metro to work three days out of the week. i’m still abnormally excited by this. to prepare for my new adventures as a Gold Line commuter, i bought the most excellent ergonomic backpack and loaded my new iPod touch full of music. on day one at the train station, i put the iPod on shuffle and plugged the earbuds into my head just as the train approached and U2’s “The Fly” came on. that’s my most favorite U2 song.

as i stepped onto the train in search of a seat, scanning the faces of my fellow Angelinos and with this crazy guitar riff blasting in my ears, i felt this strange rush overtake me, complete with tingles in my head and goose pimples on my arms. it was surreal, like a scene in a movie, where i looked around and wondered, “am i still in LA because this feels totally foreign?” but yes, i was still in LA and loving on it.

i wanted to share my excitement with the other commuters, maybe go around the train offering hugs, but they looked far less ecstatic to be there. in fact, they looked downright bored, like they had been riding the train for years and would rather be sitting in an air-conditioned car, while i sat near them with a stupid grin on my face, listening to Bono’s falsetto sing “Love, we shine like a burning star falling through the sky.”

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